Google to Reorganize YouTube with 'Channels'

By Tracey E. Schelmetic April 07, 2011

Changing the channel. It's a concept as old as television itself (though...once upon a time you actually needed to get off the couch to do it, if you're over 35). And soon it may be heading to Internet-based viewing, as well. Google, which owns video-sharing website YouTube, has indicated today that it plans a major overhaul of the site by creating so-called “channels” to compete with broadcast and cable TV, The Wall Street Journal reported today.

The ambitious restructuring is expected to cost as much as $100 million. Once complete, the YouTube home page will highlight different channels focused on topics like arts and sports, the WSJ said, citing people familiar with the matter.

The restructuring will include the addition of...shall we say “less amateur” content. About 20 of the channels will present several hours of original programming produced professionally each week, while other channels would use content already available on the site, reports AFP News.

The launch will be phased over time, starting before the end of the year, and YouTube is hiring new personnel to implement the initiatives.

In recent weeks, YouTube was also said to have held meetings with Hollywood talent agencies, which the newspaper said were more likely to produce deals with directors of production companies than with movie stars and other celebrities.

YouTube, already the third most viewed website in the world, hopes the plan will further boost traffic to the site and take a bite out of the $70 billion US television advertising market.

Executives of the site told the WSJ they want people to “watch YouTube” the same way they “watch TV.” But presumably, you won't need a remote control.

Tracey Schelmetic is a contributing editor for TechZone360. To read more of Tracey's articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Janice McDuffee

TechZone360 Contributor

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